Caran d’Ache, the Swiss maison of fine writing instruments – beloved by creatives such as Paul Smith, India Mahdavi and Claudio Colucci – celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The brand will mark the occasion with a limited-edition anniversary collection that pays tribute to five iconic products from its illustrious history: the Technograph, the Fixpencil, the Prismalo, the Ecridor and the 849.
Available from now until the end of 2015, each of the items comes in chic red and white embossed paper boxes that are based on the brand’s cartons from the 1930s. Bonne-Mine, the maison’s pencil-inspired mascot from 1924, has been given a modern update, and his face can be found peeking up from the exclusive packaging.
The Technograph (£20), the company’s original cedarwood pencil, is the first to receive an anniversary makeover, with a set of four graphite pencils (HB, B, 2B, 3B) presented in a commemorative box. Then comes the hexagonal Fixpencil (£45), which has been redesigned in keeping with the retro colour scheme and comes with four coloured leads.
Next are the Prismalo pencils (£47), loved by generations of artists and schoolchildren – I am a huge fan myself – for their bright but water-soluble hues, which have been assembled in a box of 25 assorted colours for the centenary celebrations.
Elsewhere, the maison’s iconic mechanical pencil, Ecridor (£130), has been updated with a palladium coating, and its original chevron motif has been reinterpreted in modern guillochage, while the 849 pen (£35) has been given an anniversary dress in the form of a vintage-style multicoloured barrel, referencing Caran d’Ache’s traditional coloured crayons. Joyeux anniversaire!